An Old Man in Military Costume, about
1630–1631, Rembrandt Harmensz. van
Rijn (Dutch, 1606 – 1669), Oil on panel,
78.PB.246, The J. Paul Getty Museum,
_T_here are few painters as widely and historically admired as Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606 – 1669). Works by Rembrandt can be found in museums throughout the world, but Southern Californians have the exceptional opportunity to see many important Rembrandts in their own backyard. Re-launched today, Rembrandt in Southern California is an online resource and virtual exhibition that presents all of the Rembrandt paintings in Southern California museum collections and features information about the rich holdings of Rembrandt’s drawings and prints in the region.
“Southern California is home to an exceptional group of paintings by Rembrandt, the third largest in the United States, and the Getty possesses the most significant collection of early works by the artist in the country,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Rembrandt in Southern California allows anyone anywhere in the world to see and study these paintings together in one place. For museum-goers in and visitors to Southern California, we hope they will use the website as a tool to enhance their visits to see all of these extraordinary paintings in person. Together, these works tell the story of the extraordinary range and unparalleled achievements of one of the world’s most celebrated artists.”
Rembrandt in Southern California is a project led by the J. Paul Getty Museum and created in collaboration with the Hammer Museum at UCLA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Timken Museum of Art.
“The remarkable group of Rembrandt paintings in Southern California museums represents nearly every phase of the artist’s long career,” says Anne Woollett, curator of paintings at the Getty Museum. “Together they offer a marvelous opportunity to experience fascinating history scenes, intriguing portraits and the compelling emotional states of heroic figures, as well as Rembrandt’s exhilarating range of painting techniques.”
The newly released version of Rembrandt in Southern California updates the website launched by the Getty in 2008. This rich virtual resource marks the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1669 and features high quality images and a dynamic design. In the Virtual Exhibition of Paintings, viewers can zoom into high resolution images to explore the paintings in detail, including the newest addition to the regional collection, Rembrandt Laughing, acquired by the Getty in 2013, and read about each work and its relationship to other paintings in the area.
In addition to the 14 paintings in the exhibition, the updated site offers new insight into the substantial holdings of Rembrandt’s drawings and prints in Southern California, including the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and the USC Fisher Museum of Art. In contrast to paintings, works on paper are not generally on view due to light sensitivity but many or Rembrandt’s works on paper are digitized and available online. For the first time, information about the remarkable array of Rembrandt’s drawings and etchings in the region is available in a single location.
The 2019 Rembrandt in Southern California also includes links to related videos, podcasts, and other resources focused on Rembrandt and related to the collections of the participating museums.
While Rembrandt in Southern California serves as a virtual exhibition to be visited online, it also facilitates seeing the Rembrandt paintings of Southern California in person. An interactive map helps museum-goers find participating museums. Each photo of an artwork in the exhibition will include notes on the paintings’ locations that will be updated as works of art travel or go off view for study or conservation.
Beginning July 16th, Rembrandt’s Portrait of Marten Looten, 1632, once owned by J. Paul Getty and given by him to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1953, will be on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum for the first time, as one of seven masterworks to be displayed with the Getty’s permanent collection during the LACMA building project.
In conjunction with the re-launch of Rembrandt in Southern California, a special program featuring a series of talks exploring Rembrandt’s genius as an etcher, draughtsman and painter will be held at the Getty Center on July 24th.
The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.